Grateful Dead Tee From 1967 Breaks Record For Most Expensive Vintage Shirt Sold At Auction
Right now, there’s a booming market for vintage rock-band T-shirts, and that market has just reached a crazy new high. Up until now, the most expensive vintage shirt in history was a Led Zeppelin shirt from the band’s 1979 concerts at Knebworth house; that one sold for $10,000 in an eBay auction in 2011. But now another shirt has almost doubled that record. Sotheby’s has just sold a 1967 Grateful Dead shirt for the princely sum of $17,640.
Defunkd reports that the record-breaking shirt comes from the collection of Dan Healy, an engineer who worked for the Dead. The shirt, which is in excellent condition, is presumably one of the first official shirts that the Dead ever pressed up. The design came from Allan “Gut” Terk, a former Hells Angel and Merry Prankster who was a big part of the late-’60s San Francisco scene. Terk painted the Merry Pranksters’ Further bus, designed the Jefferson Airplane’s Volunteers album, and managed Blue Cheer for a while. He died in 2018.
Bo Bushell, the guy who spent the $17,640 for the shirt, is a collector of vintage ’60s biker artifacts. Before the auction, Bushell posted a video of Terk describing the shirt on Instagram.
In that same auction, Sotheby’s also sold another vintage Grateful Dead shirt, which also fetched way more than $10,000. A shirt from a spring 1977 tour stop at Cornell University, which has the lightning-skull “Steal Your Face” logo, sold for $15,120. That one also comes from Dan Healy’s collection. Apparently, you should keep all your old band merch.